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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France

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JOHN LORD DE JOINVILLE
Memoirs of Louis IX, King of France
page 116



was the children of the nazac of the saltan of Egypt, who had been murdered, that sent him this gift The king, hearing the Saracen address him in French, asked him where he had learnt k. He replied, that he was a Christian renegado : on which the king bade him withdraw, for he would not say any more to him. I took him aside, and inquired who he was, and why he had become a renegado. The Saracen told me, " that he was born in Provence, and had followed King John to Egypt, where he was married, and had a very considerable property." I said to him, " And do you not know, that if you were to die in such a state, you would descend straight to hell, and be damned for ever ?" He replied, " that he knew it well, and that there was not a better religion than that of the Christians; but I fear, were I to return with you, I should suffer great poverty, and be continually reproaoî led all my days by being called ' Renegado, renegado !' I had rather, therefore, live at my ease, like a rich man, than become such an object of contempt." I remonstrated with him, that it was much better to suffer the scorn of the world, since at the day of judgment every evil deed would be made manifest to all, and then damnation would follow. But all this was to no purpose, and when he quitted me I never saw him more. You have had related the great persecutions and miseries the good king St. Louis and we all suffered in Egypt Yon must know also, that the good queen was not without her share, and very bitter to her heart, as you shall soon hear. Three days before she was brought to bed, she was informed that the good king, her husband, had been made prisoner, which so troubled her mind, that she seemed continually to see her chamber filled with Saracens ready to slay her ; and she incessantly kept crying out, "Help, help when there was not a soul near her. For fear the fruit of her womb should perish, she made a knight watch at the foot of her bed all night without sleeping. This knight was very old, not less than eighty years, or perhaps more ; and every time she screamed he held her hands, and said, " Madam, do not be thus alarmed ; I am with you : quit these fears." Before the good lady was brought to bed, she ordered every person to leave her chamber except this ancient knight,


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